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 José de San Martin

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José de San Martin

  • Birth 25 Feb 1778 Corrientes, Argentina
  • Death 17 Aug 1850 Boulogne-sur-Mer, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
  • Burial Brunoy, Departement de l'Essonne, Île-de-France, France
  • Plot Balcarce Family Mausoleum
  • Memorial ID 4367

Argentine General, South American Liberator. The national hero of Argentina and Peru, he is remembered, along with Simon Bolivar and Bernardo O'Higgins, as one of the liberators of South America from Spanish rule. Born Jose Francisco de San Martin y Matorras (the exact year is in dispute, either 1778 or 1779), he was the youngest son of a Spanish soldier. He moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina with his family in 1781 and two years later they moved to Spain, settling first in Madrid and then Malaga. In 1789 he began his military training in the Regiment of Murcia, Spain and saw military action two years later in North Africa. He continued to receive promotions and during the War of the Second Coalition when Spain allied itself with Napoleon of France, he was captured by British forces and kept prisoner for a time. In 1801 he saw action in the War of the Oranges between Spain and Portugal and during the Peninsular War, during which he fought in the Battle of Bailen and the Battle of Albuera. He then resigned from the Spanish Army and after contacting South American supporters for Spanish independence, he sailed for Buenos Aires in 1812 and offered his services to the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata, now present-day Argentina. In February 1813 he won a victory over the Spanish at the Battle of San Lorenzo. From August 1814 until September 1816 he served as governor of the Argentine Province of Cuyo. In January 1817 he led his Army of the Andes across the Andes Mountains into Chile and defeated the Spanish forces at the Battle of Chacabuco a month later and the Battle of Maipu in April 1818, freeing Chile from Spanish rule. In August 1820, after organizing a naval fleet, he sailed with an army to Peru and after gaining partial control of the Spanish stronghold of Lima in July 1821, Peruvian independence was officially declared and he was appointed Protector of Peru, serving in that position until September 1822 when he retired. He intended to return to Cuyo to live, but military unrest in Argentina continued and following the death of his wife in 1823, he returned to Buenos Aires and took his daughter to Europe. He settled first in England, then relocated to Brussels, Belgium, with the intention of returning to Argentina once his daughter's education was completed. He offered his services to Brazil during the Argentine-Brazilian War but received no response. In 1831 he left Brussels for Paris, France and remained there until 1848, when he moved to Boulogne-sur-Mer. By this time he suffered from many health problems and was nearly blind and he died at his home around the age of 72. Originally interred at the Cimetiere de Bruony in Bruony, France, his remains were later moved Cathedral de Notre-Dame de Boulogne-sur-Mer. In May 1880 his remains were finally repatriated to his native Argentina in a tomb at the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral. In 1943, the Order of the Liberator General San Martin was created in his honor, and is the highest decoration conferred by the Argentine government.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 12 Jan 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 4367
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for José de San Martin (25 Feb 1778–17 Aug 1850), Find A Grave Memorial no. 4367, citing Cimetiere de Brunoy, Brunoy, Departement de l'Essonne, Île-de-France, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .